Even though Minnesota is practically full of lakes, the traditional fish and chips is found on coasts. Being from California, I have been on the constant prowl for good seafood since coming to Macalester. I must wait no longer—Mac’s Fish/Chips/Strips is the place to go and it’s practically on campus! Mac’s has classic fish and chips, with some other specialties including poutine—a Canadian dish consisting of fries, gravy and cheese curds—chicken strips and cheese curds.
Mac’s offers three different kinds of fish: halibut, cod and walleye. For the seafood lovers, shrimp and clams are also served. The fish can either be ordered alone or with fries. I tried the cod ($3.95 for one piece— enough for a meal)and I wasn’t very impressed. It was underwhelming, and I was a little disappointed that I ordered it. However, Minnesota isn’t known for their cod, because just in case you haven’t looked at a map in a while, Minnesota is far from the ocean. The walleye ($6 for one piece) tasted far superior. The fish came out piping hot and each flaky piece had been carefully hand battered. The walleye had the perfect combination of fluffiness and freshness that every piece of fried fish should.
If fish isn’t your thing, the chicken strips are equally delicious. The chicken basket ($5.95) was fried in the same batter recipe as the fish using the same batter, giving the chicken strips a unique flavor less salty than most chicken strips and a crispiness a little heavier than fried fish. I rarely order chicken strips off-campus, but I will probably order these chicken strips another time this week.
My favorite item off the menu at Mac’s however are the sides. The coleslaw ($.75) has to be some of the best I’ve ever had, mainly because it isn’t overpowered by mayo. There is a perfect combination of zestiness and creaminess that makes every bite delicious and leaves you craving more. The hand-cut fries were standard, but I would definitely go ahead and order the poutine ($3.75) instead. The gravy had a great peppery taste, and with the fresh cheese curds, it compares to any other top-notch poutine. The only complaint I have about the poutine is that there could have been more gravy, but I’m sure you could ask for more.
Whether it’s the take-out options, cheap prices or a free piece of taffy with every meal, Mac’s has a loyal customer in me. I personally recommend that everyone at Mac should try Mac’s. Though the restaurant was not named after Macalester, we should be glad to call Mac’s our own.
Mac’s Fish/Chips/Strips is located at 300 Snelling Ave S, St Paul.